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Australians dispute Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s win

Tyne Villan

Inquirer.net/Asia News Network

 /  Thu, December 20, 2018  /  02:02 pm
Australians dispute Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s win

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray reacts after being crowned Miss Universe during the final round of the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, December 17, 2018. (REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)

It has only been a few days after the Miss Universe 2018 coronation night and Filipinos still can’t get over Catriona Gray’s victory. But while everyone celebrates the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe crown, the internet is divided on Gray’s identity. 

Catriona Gray or Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray was born on January 6 1994 in Cairns, Queensland in Australia. Her father, Ian Gray, is a Scottish-born Australian and her mother is Normita Ragas Magnayon, a proud Bicolana from Oas, Albay.  Gray has spent most of her childhood days in “The Land Down Under.” And at the age of 18, after finishing high school, she then moved to the Philippines to pursue a career in modeling.

If you don’t know Catriona Gray personally or haven’t heard her speak Filipino in some of her interviews, you’d assume she’s a foreigner—with her Western name, Caucasian looks, and Aussie accent. Since she grew up in Queensland and her qualities don’t resemble a “full-blooded” Filipino, she is now being questioned if she should really be representing Australia instead of the Philippines.

Because of this, some Australian publications want to take credit for the beauty queen’s win.

Read also: Miss USA apologizes for mocking non-English speaking Miss Universe contestants

In the front page of Australian newspaper, “The Courier Mail,” you’d see a picture of Catriona Gray with the words, “Miss Universe Philippines.” However, the paper crossed out “Philippines” and replaced it with “Queensland” instead.

Not only that, Hit Radio’s website published a story that features Gray with the headline: “Australian Girl Won Miss Universe But She Wasn’t Miss Australia.” Facebook page PGAG also shared a screenshot of the news and captioned it, “Some Australians want a piece of the Ms. Universe win, too? What do you think? To be fair, Catriona Gray grew up in Australia.”

Since this news has been making the rounds on social media, Filipino supporters share their opinions about the matter.

Twitter user @ilda_talk mentions that Australians are crying foul.

And even if Gray is of a mixed-race, she proudly represented the Philippines. From her evening gown and national costume down to her signature walk—everything is Filipino.

Though it might be too late for the Aussies to take pride in Gray’s victory, in our eyes, she’s Miss Philippines, not Miss Australia.

While the Internet is fighting over Catriona’s heritage, some Australians choose to express their support instead of joining in the dispute.

Despite Gray’s looks and upbringing, she chose to represent the Philippines. In one of her media interviews, she vowed, “Philippines, what an amazing honor it has been to carry your name across my chest and to embody you in all aspects. I may now carry the sash of Miss Universe, but I’ll forever be your Miss Philippines.”

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This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post